Kinsmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart and former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, defied the heavy downpour Friday as they jubilantly received the campaign train of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Douye Diri.
A statement by the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite, said a mammoth crowd of dancing women and youths turned out for the PDP rallies at Akassa, Sylva’s home town, Okpoama, and at the Brass council headquarters, Twon-Brass, as Senator Diri arrived alongside his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Deputy Speaker of the state assembly, Abraham Ngobere, the campaign Director-General, Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei, as well as the state PDP chairman, Moses Cleopas, among other prominent leaders from the party and the area.
The statement said PDP supporters adorned different attires with the faces of the party’s standard bearers and defied the torrential rainfall, which instead of disrupting the campaign turned it into a carnival.
Both Diri and Ewhrudjakpo joined the jubilant supporters to dance in the rain.
The statement noted that the campaign team earlier visited the Akassa and Okpoama Councils of Chiefs respectively to seek their royal blessings.
Spokesman of the Akassa Council of Chiefs, His Royal Highness Moses Theophilus, Kenibara VII, Amadabo of Moko-Ama, Sangana, appealed to Senator Diri to as a matter of urgency tackle the perennial flooding and erosion in the area when elected into office.
He also presented the community’s other requests to include construction of a mini-stadium, police station, renovation of schools, upgrading of traditional stools, return of NDDC contractors to site as well as boosting the tourism potential of the area in order to raise the internally generated revenue of the state.
Chairman of the Brass council, Mr. Victor Isaiah, said the people had resolved to give their total support to the PDP ticket as it was the only sure way to continue the legacies of Governor Seriake Dickson administration in critical sectors.
He assured that PDP members in the area would be adequately mobilised and sensitised to ensure victory in the November 16 governorship election.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ngobere, said the party in the area remained united in its resolve to give bloc votes to Senators Diri and Ewhrudjakpo in the election.
The party chairman, Mr. Cleopas, said the APC and its candidate, Chief David Lyon, lacked the capacity to withstand the PDP in the state.
Cleopas noted that recent comments and speeches of the APC candidate were indicative of his lack of understanding of governance issues, adding that he was being deceived by those purportedly supporting him.
He however appealed to PDP members to continue to remain peaceful and resolute in their resolve to work for the victory of the party.
In his remarks, Senator Diri charged supporters of the party to shun all forms of inducement by the APC, saying the chances of the PDP rest in their hands.
He commended their doggedness and steadfastness to remain loyal to the PDP in the face of threats, intimidation and harassment by the APC leaders and members in the area, recalling how volatile the area was during the general election earlier this year.
According to Diri, to keep Bayelsa on the path of progress in infrastructure development, healthcare delivery, education and capacity building, there is need to consolidate on the recorded success of the restoration administration of Governor Dickson.
He promised the people that when elected, he would ensure that the Brass islands at the tip of the Atlantic Ocean would be connected by road and that the defunct technical college in Twon-Brass would be rebuilt and revived.
Diri also promised that opportunities would be created for women in the area to have access to interest-free soft loans while the youths would be made to acquire skills that would make them self-reliant.